Badu World

When it comes to celebrities vs the REAL world how do they separate the two ? Now that the COVID-19 is all around how do you keep yourself and your fans uplifted ? Her answer was MUSIC.

As we all know the famous , earth queen herself ERYKAH BADU recently had a live concert for just $1 from her OWN bedroom calling it the QUARANTINE CONCERT SERIES -APOCALYPSE ONE , due to cancellation of her worldwide concert. She uploaded multiple post on her instagram stating “NO MORE CABBAGE WATER” for artists which means it’s not unreasonable to own your OWN and to realize the power they have over their own art. When it comes to being a celebrity and being real with your fans she’s ALWAYS going to keep it NICE but FIESTY with a lot of REALNESS.

Erykah created her own platform to be more creative, to be her own person, to speak and move how she wants to when it comes to being a celebrity.

Bastards of Rap

Photo Credit: XXL

Rap has come along ways since I was younger, yet it still has so far to go. A once strong, competitive, innovative art form has slowly become tamed and predictable. This article was not written to criticize, point fingers, or disrespect any artist, in any form. This is my breakdown of the current state of rap. One thing I have noticed that has been missing in recent decades, are the big brother’s/Mentors of rap. The DJs, The Producers, Rap Vets, or label owners. The guys who past the torch, coach the talent, the gate keepers.

It was a time when Rappers would adopt newer MCs or campmates as protégés. DJ’s would rush the major labels to get the talent signed. Producers would develop and help rappers find their niche. It’s a fact that today’s most prolific and successful rap artist had equally successful mentors. Drake, Kendrick, and Cole for example were mentored by three of the most prolific labels, rappers, and producers respectively. In my opinion, the rap scene has been less innovative since the decline of the big brother element. A decline which I attribute to the mid 2000s. Which saw the decline of Modern MCs, and the rise of mixtape MCs.

Looking back, it was crazy seeing Rappers who debuted in 92-96, releasing back to back singles and albums in 2005, while listening to unsigned MC’s tear up the mixtape circuit. A place where Young MC’s would sharpen their knives and veterans would revitalize themselves. Now artist is skipping several steps in the developmental stage. Before the internet was a platform, Rappers would create demos, go to other well-known artist, and even tag along with others.

The Established artist would evaluate, critique, school, or set up recording sessions. While this was not the case for most MC’s. Some guys would often times be a member of said rappers crew, contest winner or in most cases, a family member. The rappers would be ushered in and given a formula or game plan. Looking back, a lot of the pairings made no sense to me and we’re generally odd. Witnessing NWA introduce The D.O.C., Scarface Signing Ludacris, or Redman coming out of nowhere on EPMD, all of whom shared no musical similarities to each other.

It was common to see new faces being introduced or signed by established rappers. Often times the Protégé would inherit the established artist fan base.  However, things would drastically slow down towards the end of 2001, a lot of veteran artist would push past their prime, some even making albums that surpass their debuts. While overlooking or even having newer artist ghost writing or making music solely for their advancement.

Once mixtapes became heavily sought out, new artist, as well as trapped and exploited artist would use mixtapes to build their brand. Often times using material that would be essential to them once they were signed. As time progressed, rappers would start releasing album quality mixtapes, which still makes me scratch my head. These artists would quickly be signed, rushed to a booth and put on shelves way before they were developed.

Mix tape artist for the most part wouldn’t transition well as far as making albums. Majority of these rappers in most cases would be pressured or outright dictated by the label. At this point in time in rap, the concept of big brother’s would be obsolete. These new rappers would later adopt other MC’s, taking on the role of big brother’s with catastrophic results. Since the early 2000’s this trend has reshaped rap for better or worse.

Written By: Akin Gibbons

Entrepreneurship – Is it for me?

There are those happy with being a worker until they retire, and there are others who like to be their own chairperson. Even though it does not mean that one person trumps the other, there are lots of personality differences between the two. There are personality tests available online that one can take to identify their personality characteristics and learn whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Though lots of entrepreneurs differ in their style and perspective, some common traits make one a successful businessman.

Hard working

This is a characteristic that every entrepreneur should have. Having non-stop energy to do a large amount of work and multitasking while a pile tasks here and there should be done to achieve your goals. If it suggests, work double time? Then, do work double time!

Positive attitude

It isn’t assured that when you are into a business, you’ll always be good, and no problems will come. There will be issues and complications, and these things are the ones that are going to shape you up to be a successful entrepreneur. Being pessimistic? There’s no room for that! You want to know the way to deal even with the darkest times of your life, for it would occur again.

Sense of commitment

Whatever you do, you should be committed to doing the absolute best you can and achieve what is predicted of you and for the business. It is equivalent to a sense of professionalism, which is quite significant when you go to the outside world.

Goal-oriented

What good is a business is if there are no goals to live by? It is as if going out in battle without knowing what to do next. Setting up goals regarding your business is crucial since all the activities revolved around the goals.

Passionate about reaching such goals

Of course, reasonable goals are not goals if they if not achieved. Be sure that when you set targets, it’s realistic and doable. You need to be obsessed about what you do and have a thrust to keep you pushing forward to reach your goals.

Perseverance

Being in business includes lots of challenges. You’re likely going to fail the first time, even 2nd time, and sometimes even third time. Determination is the key to success here. Successful entrepreneurs try to benefit from their mistakes and never give up.

To be an entrepreneur, you also must have a business idea, an evident appreciation of difficulty you are trying to solve, and some system in mind how you’ll take it to the market. Just having the above-discussed traits doesn’t guarantee that you are going to be a successful entrepreneur but certainly sets you aside from others, help you face difficult challenges, and save you from falling on your face.

Is entrepreneurship for you? I don’t know. You’ve got to answer that for yourself. Ask yourself whether you some who likes to follow or who likes to guide, whether you like to do things your way or you mostly need guidance, whether you want to be managed or you are self-motivated. There are many such self-evaluations you can do yourself. But, if you’re a sort of person who likes new challenges each day, can fly in thin air, and lead without any direction, then you have a higher chance of succeeding as an entrepreneur. If you’ve got a business idea lurking deep within you, it’s high time to try it out because that’s the first thing an entrepreneur would say – let’s try out!

Written By: L.A. Walton

Anatomy of An Entrepreneur

When is an entrepreneur, not an entrepreneur? When they are not generating vast amounts of wealth! This may be slightly hard on hard-working small business owners who are often called entrepreneurs, but it could be argued that lifestyle business doesn’t classify as entrepreneurial. I think the reason for making the distinction is to empower the word entrepreneur, give it some meaning, some gravitas. Not everybody can be an entrepreneur, not everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, but how do you know you are one? Well, an entrepreneur creates enormous value.

Entrepreneurs tend to operate in the high risk, high innovation area of business, which, if successful, will bring high rewards quicker. Alternatively, the small business owner may well be in a lower risk area, with less innovation (probably an existing product and competing on price alone), and the rewards will be less and slower coming.

So, a small business owner is not necessarily an entrepreneur, but I am sure their paths start in the same place and probably cross. Setting up a business may not, by definition, be entrepreneurial, but it is one of the first steps. I can imagine most entrepreneurs will have gone through this process probably many times. Whether it be set up as a sole trader, a limited company, buying a franchise, or setting up a simple market stall, you are following a path, beaten by many a successful entrepreneur before you.

To become successful as an entrepreneur, you need to understand your strengths, know your weaknesses, and learn from your successes and mistakes. We generally view entrepreneurs, as businesspeople who start something new (the word entrepreneur comes from the French ‘entrepende’ meaning ‘to begin something’) they are seen as being creative and happy to take risks. And many of these attributes could be applied to many small business owners.

What is also interesting is that according to various reports and surveys, nearly half of the US working population wants to start up their own business based on their concept! However, less than 6% manage to follow this dream through, which is a shame, since entrepreneurship has a significant, positive impact on our economy and society! Entrepreneurs can create new markets, remove old markets, and impact existing markets, reducing prices, improving service, and generally adding real value from a consumer perspective. And this fact is celebrated across the world during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Today there is a considerable focus on young entrepreneurs and the support and education available for them. Governments are beginning to realize how vital entrepreneurs are and the importance education plays in the process of successfully starting and running a business.

Universities are now playing a significant role in the development of the youthful, entrepreneurial spirit. If you visit almost any university and many colleges within the US, you are more than likely to find a center focused on helping students take the first step into business and entrepreneurship. Correspondingly during the last decade, the number of students describing themselves as running their own business (i.e., self-employed or freelance) has increased significantly, almost rising by 50% in the period 2002 to 2009. We have also seen more funding opportunities for entrepreneurial research in addition to more advice, support, and education.

After all, this though there is still one big misconception, and that is the skills of an entrepreneur are not taught but occur naturally. This probably comes from the lack of enterprise education available in the past, and entrepreneurs were self-taught. Yes, people will have a flair for certain aspects of business over others, but all these aspects can be developed and nurtured within an individual. The application of these skill sets will vary, and that’s what sets people apart! However, the attributes of being smart and working hard generally work over any other combination, except as many a successful entrepreneur will tell you, the trait of being lucky.

The world of business changes rapidly, and entrepreneurs see this too. The internet is making the world smaller and smaller by the day, almost one market (well one opportunity) and entrepreneurs are seeing their opportunities going Global quicker. As Peter Jones says, have a vision, be confident, be results orientated, act, use your influence, and don’t underestimate your capabilities.

Written By: L.A. Walton

Colorism Within The Black Community

Recently I watched Madam CJ Walker on Netflix. Wasn’t based on sole facts. One character I was fixated on was the character Addie. She was portrayed as Madam Walker competitor. They’re relationship grew from Addie doing Madam Walker hair and Walker washing her clothes. Addie was portrayed as a mulatto woman. Madam Walker was of a brown complexion. The time frame was the early 1900’s which of course many black people where still overcoming a lot of things. From the ending of slavery, lack of wealth, and even colorism.

Madam Walker expressed her interest in selling Addie hair products. Addie proceeds to tell Walker that she is not an ideal candidate to sell the product. Mainly from her appearance. She wasn’t of lighter complexion with long straight hair down her back. Addie also expressed that every woman wanted to look like her, a woman of fair skin, with long straight hair.

During slavery it was instill in the slaves that the lighter complexion amongst African Americans were better. The House Nigger is what they were called. The darker complexion slaves were known as the Field Nigger. The ideology came from Willie Lynch. Lynch was a slave trainer and he made his present known all across the world. The Western Hemisphere really locked in on his teaching.

In those time as well, it was considered if a person has one drop of Black blood, they were considered Black. It wasn’t farfetched that there were many mulatto children being born from the slave masters. Colorism within the Black community is real and alive to this day. It is 2020. I never understood it due to how I was raised in the South. Many of the women in my family are of lighter complexion. I was never taught to dislike my love ones because I’m of darker complexion.

We compliment each other. I see them as I see myself, a Woman of Color in American still trying to overcome the racism that still exist. Racism another conversation for another day. I gave you a little back history of colorism because I think most of us are still in the mindset of slavery. Our mindset hasn’t changed. I’ve had colorism conversations most of my life. It grows deeper into adulthood. Most of my good girlfriends are of lighter complexion. Some even mulatto. Some of the conversations I have with them often breaks my heart.

How they’re treated based on how they look. Yet they are some of the sweetest people you will ever meet. Being down south really will put a bad taste in your mouth. Where is it is colorism among women of color. The light skin vs dark skin. Which in my honest opinion should be put to rest? This is a subject that I know will require a part 2 and 3.

From the men in our culture, to how the women of color wear their hair. It is still a problem within our community. I don’t expect my article to sway you to think one way or the other. What this is, is a conversation piece. A thinking piece. Until the next time with this Apocalypse stay positive.

Written By: Tiffany Terrell (Radio Host/Founder/Media Relations)

Photo by Clarke Sanders on Unsplash

How to Be Your Best Self Everyday

Have you ever had a job that you didn’t like? When you woke up in the morning you to drag yourself out of bed and force yourself to go into work. This might be the job that you’re working right now. Well, you know how when you get to work, sit down to your cubicle and begin crunching those numbers your heart really isn’t in it. You’re not giving your best self to your employer. At most, you’re giving about half, and while this might get you a paycheck it is death to an entrepreneurial venture.

So instead, you want to give yourself – your best self – which is the person that is going to work the hardest, the person that is going to persevere the longest and the person that is going to ultimately take you to success. You want to be the kind of person that other people will look at and comment on how hard you work and how much you give to your business. Every single day you need to be the best self that you can. That doesn’t mean that you need to be perfect. No one is perfect. But it does mean that you can look back at the end of the day and say: “I did a good job today.”

Things That You Can Do as an Entrepreneur to Be Your Best Self

  • Don’t show up late for work. Show up early instead. Yes, sitting down at your computer to do whatever it is that you need to do to make your business work, whether that is marketing, building a website or simply finding a good opportunity for entrepreneurial success; that is going to be your job. You should be twice is committed as you are to your day job to the time that you spend working on your business and building your success.
  • Be willing to help others. If you encounter someone that could use some of the skills that you possess, consider spending some of your free time helping them. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, and a colleague needs a business card, although you don’t directly benefit from creating a business card for your friend, it could pay back dividends down the road. If there is such thing as karma, you’ll be building the good kind as well.
  • Develop relationships. No one succeeds in a vacuum and the relationships that you build with other people can help you much later in life as well as build lasting friendships. Some people will only build a relationship with someone who they think is in a position to help them with their business and this is a huge mistake because you never know what might happen in the future and when somebody that you have developed a friendship or working relationship with suddenly finds themselves in a position to help you achieve success and is willing to do so.
  • Start to cultivate patience. Many entrepreneurs want success right away. There is nothing wrong with this, but you’re probably going to want to learn to be patient if you’re in business for yourself because it can take a while to see the fruits of your labor. Rarely is someone an “overnight success.” It is much more likely that they worked hard to get where they are, and you just weren’t aware of it.
  • Become flexible when you have to be. One of the problems that entrepreneurs run into, particularly if they are the type of personality that likes a very rigid set of rules and working guidelines, is getting stuck at an impasse because something happened that they couldn’t plan for. Things are going to happen with your plan for success, no matter how much you try to prepare for every eventuality and the only way that you’re going to overcome those challenges is to be flexible.
  • Be honest; use integrity and all of your personal and business dealings. If you think that a product that you are considering is of poor quality, or there’s some reason why it is not a good product to sell, don’t sell it. If someone comes to you and offers to make your website rank a whole lot higher using black hat SEO techniques, tell them no. You want to be the kind of businessman (or woman) that customers can depend on and trust and violating that trust will cost you.

Don’t Multitask

Everyone talks about multitasking like it’s the greatest thing since the Macarena, but the truth is multitasking can actually cost you time spent on your project. In fact, studies show that you not only have a 40% reduction in the amount of work that you get done, but that you actually might be damaging your brain by multitasking. Instead of multitasking, give whatever project that you are currently working on your full focus.

In fact, give your current project 110% and watch your productivity rise drastically. People tend to like multitasking, either because it offers them variety and makes work seem to go by faster or because they’ve been told it increases their productivity.

Make Sure Your Heart Is in It

You want to make sure that your heart is in what you’re doing on two different fronts. First, make sure that you are passionate about what you’re doing to achieve success in your completely invested in the project. But also, make sure that you are invested in whatever specific project that you’re currently working on.

If your heart isn’t in it, then consider outsourcing it to someone who is more passionate about it than you are. For example, if writing is not your forte, hire a freelancer. If you have been trying to design a company logo and you find yourself getting frustrated, consider hiring a graphic designer or using one of the premium logo services online.

Written By: L.A. Walton

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